By Mimi Abney

A fur coat is no impulse purchase. It is also not a wash and wear garment that you can clean quickly at the neighborhood dry cleaner. Fur coats are decadent and expensive luxury fabrics that have specific instructions for their meticulous cleaning and maintenance regimen. For fur coat connoisseurs who wish to clean their suitably stylish coats, use these tips to rid your coat from dust and grime and restore your fur to its original soft and fluffy texture.

How to Clean Fur Coats

Step 1

Understand the fur cleaning and conditioning process. Unlike wool, silk or cloth, which is cleaned by immersion, the abrasion method is used to clean fur. The furrier prepares a drum filled with sawdust and a chemical solution. The fur technician places the fur coat into the drum. The garment is tumbled repeatedly to remove all dirt, oils and odors. A glazing solution is then applied to the fur to add sheen and restore the soft and fluffy texture.

Step 2

Determine if your fur coat requires special services. Light-colored and white furs require special attention. Ermines, foxes, white minks and chinchillas may yellow due to sunlight. Your furrier will add a special whitening agent to restore the fur back to its original color.

Step 3

Find a professional furrier with a cleaning service. Not all furriers are alike. Some furriers create an in-house cleaning facility that cleans furs onsite. Others may send their furs coats off to an independent company that specializes in cleaning and glazing. Ask your furrier to explain their cleaning process in detail to select the best vendor to clean your fur coats.

Step 4

Spot clean your fur coat to remove excess moisture. If your fur coat gets wet after a quick walk in the rain or snow, shake it out and hang it in a cool dry space. Do not rub away the excess water or dab the water with a white cotton cloth. Have the garment professionally cleaned to prevent matting of the fur and odors.

Step 5

Clean your fur coat once a year. Perfumes, perspiration and spilled liquids can damage fur, so plan to clean your fur pieces annually. Before you store your fur in a temperature-controlled environment, have it cleaned and repaired.